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Vassar Celebrates Children's Literature With Art Exhibition and Film Talk

Vassar College will spotlight an acclaimed children's book illustrator and a filmmaker renowned for adapting children's book illustrations, to honor a college alumnus who began the first children's book department in an American publishing house.

The James W. Palmer III '90 Gallery at College Center will be exhibiting over 50 paintings by James Ransome, the Hudson Valley-based children's book artist best known for chronicling African-American history. The exhibit Ransome: The Fine Art of Children's Book Illustration, will run from Monday September 29 through Tuesday October 21, including an artist's reception at the gallery from 5:00-7:00 p.m. on Wednesday October 8.

Two of Ransome's dummy books, four preliminary tracing paper drawings and color studies, and one complete set of children's books will also be exhibited, enabling visitors to follow the progression of an illustrated book from concept to final paintings. The Palmer gallery at College Center is open free to the public, noon-6:00 p.m. seven days a week.

Award-winning children's filmmaker Morton Schindel will complete a four-day residency at Vassar with a public lecture "The Picture Book Emancipated" on Thursday October 2 at 5:30 p.m. in Room 203 of Taylor Hall.

Since 1953 Schindel's Weston Woods Studios has adapted hundreds of beloved children's books through a mixture of cinematographic techniques. Through its "Children's Circle" film and video series, Weston Woods has been celebrated for closely adhering to a book's original intent, even when additional artwork and animation are added to the adaptation.

The combined programs are funded by a Vassar endowment in children's literature named for Louise Seaman Bechtel, a 1915 graduate of the college who began the MacMillan Publishing children's book department in 1919. Co-sponsors include the Department of Education, Africana Studies program, Department of Film, Dean of the Faculty, Wimpfheimer Nursery School, and Mid-Hudson Reading Council.

The James W. Palmer III '90 Gallery is open daily from 12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations should contact Cathy Jennings at the Office of Campus Activities, at (845) 437-5370, as far in advance as possible to request appropriate and reasonable accommodations.

Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Monday, September 29, 2003